Village Lives


Cover: Ralph Hoare of Mount Barton returns home, C.1940

This book is now available online on Littlehempston parish’s website and also at Eastgate Bookshop, Totnes.  The links below will take you to their site.

The Editors of the Parish News were keen to preserve and publicise some of the interesting articles published over many years. These chosen items within give a wide and wonderful picture of village life, it’s people and society, it’s changes and even it’s controversies. They were published in the Parish News between 1975 and 2009, presenting a rich and varied picture of life in our five villages. Among memories of wartime, for instance, are the Home Guard in an old chicken house on the Beacon, looking out for enemy aircraft; a young evacuee having to learn “manners” and eat in the kitchen before being allowed to join the family for meals, and the Women’s Institute receiving food parcels from Australia. There are descriptions of the blacksmith’s shop, of young Mary travelling from Ireland with her friend Bridie in 1929 to work in service at Gurrington House, memories of school days in 1930 and mention of the first solar panels in Broadhempston in 1980. In all, these articles give a fascinating insight into the way village lives have changed over the years.

Sara Coish helping out the Mannings and the Webbers

The oldest Parish News in the Broadhempston Archive is dated February 1971; simply a notification of Broadhempston Church services and information, neatly typed on a piece of A4, folded to present four typed pages. Over the years it expanded so that by January 1977 the Parish News had a designed cover, 20 pages of comments, articles and adverts, and cost 10p. At that time it represented the Churches at Broadhempston and Woodland. In 1981 the parishioners of Littlehempston Church joined the Parish News, followed in 1987 by Staverton and Landscove – the five combined parishes as represented in our magazine today. Since 1990 the church has relinquished it’s role in the Parish News production and it has been edited and presented by a group of interested parishioners.

Click on the chapter links in the index below to read Village Lives on this website, or here’s a link which will let you download a complete copy of Village Lives. And here’s a link to let you buy a hard copy of the Village Lives book from Amazon for £5.99.


Chapter 1 – Agriculture

Chapter 2 – The Church

Chapter 3 – Housing

Chapter 4 – Village People

Chapter 5 – Natural History

Chapter 6 – The School

Chapter 7 – The Shop

Chapter 8 – War Time

Chapter 9 – Ramblings and Curiosities

Chapter 10 – Controversies

Chapter 11 – Water

Chapter 12 – Women’s Institute

Chapter 13 – Acknowledgements

Back cover: Vera White and Ruby Manning washing their hair at Higher Lake Farm, late 1920s

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